Superfoods that are popular in the fall are often high in carbs and low in fat, even if they are considered healthy – I’m talking about potatoes and the like. However, if you are on a low-carb diet, say to promote weight loss or to balance blood sugars, these foods might not be suitable for you.
“Net Carbs” are found by subtracting grams of fiber from total carbohydrate in a serving of food. Counting them is a strategy used in some weight loss diets and to help diabetics manage sugars/insulin dosing. Net Carb targets vary depending on your goal and lifestyle. For your reference, most weight loss programs will typically recommend somewhere between 50 and 150g per day give or take in my reading. A weight maintaining dose is usually between 200 and 300g per day.
Luckily, there are also plenty of clean eating superfoods that are in season during the fall and aren’t too high in carbs.
These flavorful veggie is about moderate in carb amounts due to high levels of fiber. You still need to pay close attention to the quantity you have but as far as fall superfoods go, parsnips can be a great swap for white potatoes if you are on a low-carb diet. The great thing about parsnips is that their flavor resembles potatoes, so you can make parsnip chips or fries and have a lower-carb version than with regular white potatoes (which have approximately 28g carbs per cup for reference).
One of my personal fall favorites, this squash is a little sweet and tastes great with various fall flavors and spices. It is often combined with pumpkin or fruits like apples and pears. It can be purchased fresh or frozen and added to recipes. It is also a good plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
As far as greens go, most of them are going to be low-carb and are appropriate for any low-carb or Keto diet. Kale is in season during the fall and is also considered a superfood, so you try to add it to your diet whenever you can. It isn’t the lowest carb green out there, but it’s tougher and can handle an acidic salad dressing or some light steaming/frying and not fall disintegrate. So it’s not bad when putting together a stir-fry, soup, or salad.
Cauliflower is the ultimate low-carb food, which is part of why it’s so trendy right now. Cauliflower rice anyone?! It’s also a superfood that is readily available during the fall-winter season and it has a long harvest season, available from September through June. There is vitamin C in cauliflower, plus it can help lower your cholesterol. It is great for substituting potatoes or rice in your low-carb meals. I’ve even used it in some smoothies and been pleasantly surprised. J
Move over pumpkin spice - nothing says fall flavors to me more than cranberry! If you are looking for a fruit you can have in the fall that is also on the low-carb side, try cranberries. These are a very popular fruit to have as a superfood, and since it is a berry, it is going to be lower in carbs than most other fruits. Try ¼ cup of cranberries on your salad, pop ‘em into a smoothie, or into your favorite low carb muffin recipe.
As always, I hope this article has served/helped you. If it has, and you want to learn more about my simple approach to healthier eating, sign up for my FREE 8-Page Downloadable Crash Course On Clean Eating?
Laura Nurse, BBA, ND
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